Can dogs be ADHD? Symptoms of ADHD in Dogs
One of the great advantages of having a dog is that the house becomes much livelier, and most dogs have the same seemingly endless energy as children. But for those dogs that need a lot of exercises, if they don't go out for a day, they will run around the house or even run cool, making the house jump. Sometimes even after a walk home, the dog is still energetic and does not run or jump all over the body. This is not uncommon, the owner can increase the amount of dog exercise, but they will always run out of energy. But if the dog is this rowdy every day and can't stop for almost a moment, then the owner should be aware that the dog may have ADHD.
I. Symptoms of ADHD in dogs
1. Prolonged active state
The truth is that ADHD in dogs is not common, so many owners assume that it is just a case of excess energy or more exercise. It is true, however, that the most obvious symptom of a dog with ADHD is a chronically active state, but they act as if they have been given a stimulant and behave even more abnormally. Whether in enclosed or open spaces, dogs are very hyperactive. Even if the owner is around to entice, the dog is difficult to calm down.
2. Easily impulsive
Dogs with ADHD are extremely sensitive and impulsive, even if affected by the slightest external environment, such as a relatively small noise, the dog will also make an overreaction. And the dog does not have very stable emotions, if the owner wants to hold or control it, the dog will even make aggressive behavior.
3. Distracted attention
ADHD in dogs is also called memory deficit hyperactivity disorder, which means that the dog is unable to concentrate, and this can be the basis for the diagnosis of ADHD. Distracted attention leads to a significant reduction in the dog's ability to learn, so owners are often unable to train dogs with ADHD because they are unable to focus on their owners and can neither understand nor recognize commands.
As long as there are external influences in training, such as moving cars, small animals, etc., dogs will be distracted and they will be interested in almost anything. Therefore crate training, spot urination, and defecation training may also not work properly, and it may be difficult for the owner to care for the dog, after all, they may urinate and defecate anywhere at home.
II. Why do dogs have ADHD?
1. Genetic factors
Studies have shown that ADHD in dogs can be inherited, and some breeds are more prone to ADHD, especially those that are very athletic themselves, such as the German Shepherd.
2. Lower blood phospholipid levels
The University of Helsinki and the Folkh盲lsan Research Center did a study together to analyze the blood composition of dogs with ADHD and healthy dogs, and the research team led by Professor Hannes Lohi was responsible for studying the blood metabolites of both types of dogs. This implies that there is a link between ADHD and lower blood phospholipid levels.
3. Chronic lack of socialization or exercise
A 1961 study found that dogs kept in isolation for long periods behaved aggressively and impulsively when they saw other dogs. So most dogs need some level of socialization, which helps prevent ADHD in dogs.
Three: How to treat ADHD in dogs?
It is generally difficult for owners to determine that their dog has ADHD, but they can make a preliminary determination based on the dog's symptoms above, combined with whether he usually behaves abnormally. If owners suspect that their dog has ADHD, it is best to take him to the vet for a diagnostic examination. When the vet determines that the dog does have ADHD, he may prescribe some medication for the dog, which may include stimulants. Perhaps this is a bit of a contradiction, after all, the dog is already agitated, wouldn't stimulants add fuel to the fire? But in fact, giving a stimulant to an ADHD dog will instead calm them down and make them more focused.
At the same time, the owner should usually take the dog out more sports, enhance the dog's social skills, and train it from time to time, giving physical and mental exercise. If necessary, the owner can also change the environment around the dog to reduce noise transmission, and more soothing soft music to reduce the dog's anxiety.
The owner should first take the dog to the hospital for a detailed examination, the doctor will be based on the dog's symptoms develop the appropriate treatment, and will also prescribe some drugs for the dog to take.
In addition to following the doctor's instructions to the dog to take medication, but also need to take them out for more exercise, it is best to let the dog and other dogs get along more so that the dog can also improve the situation.
Because dogs are pack animals, they will imitate the behavior of their peers, so that the dog is better integrated into the group life, for their ADHD treatment is also beneficial.
Also, owners should try to provide a quiet, comfortable environment for their dogs when they are at home, which can reduce their anxiety and also make them less prone to developing the condition.
IV. ADHD explained
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), also known as attention deficit disorder, also known as hyperactivity disorder, is a psychiatric disorder of neurodevelopmental disorders. It is characterized by difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity, and doing things without thinking about consequences, among other things. In addition to age-inappropriate behavior, individuals with ADD may also exhibit difficulties with emotional regulation or executive functioning.
A recent study conducted by the University of Helsinki involving about 11,000 dogs showed that the sex, age, and breed of the dogs, as well as any behavioral problems, and certain environmental factors, were associated with hyperactive and impulsive behavior and ADHD.
The findings could lead to better identification, understanding, and treatment of canine hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention, the researchers said. In addition, they show similarities to human ADHD. Dogs share many similarities with humans, including physical characteristics and the same environment. In addition, ADHD-like behaviors occur naturally in dogs, which makes dogs an interesting model for investigating human ADHD.
The research team conducted extensive behavioral surveys and collected data from more than 11,000 dogs. Hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention were all based on surveys used in human ADHD research. The purpose of the study was to determine environmental factors in canine ADHD behavior and potential associations with other behavioral traits.
The age and sex of the dog, as well as the owner's experience with the dog, can have an impact
The study found that hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention were more common in younger dogs and male dogs. And age- and gender-related hyperactivity has been observed in humans accordingly.
Dogs that spent more time alone at home each day were more hyperactive, impulsive, and inattentive than dogs that spent less time alone. As social animals, dogs may feel frustrated and stressed when left alone, which may lead to hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. It may be that dogs that spend more time in solitude also receive less exercise and attention from their owners.
The researchers also found a new link between hyperactivity and impulsivity and owner experience with dogs, as both traits are more common for inexperienced owners, and the causality of this phenomenon remains unclear. The researchers speculate that people may choose less active individuals as their first dogs and, after gaining more experience with dog ownership, can choose more active and challenging dogs.
Significant differences between breeds
The study found that, in contrast, a calmer disposition was seen as a benefit in breeds popular as pets or show dogs, such as Chihuahuas, Longhaired Collies, and Poodles, making them easier companions in everyday life. And the ability to concentrate is not considered as important in these breeds as it is in working breeds, which is why inattention may be more common in pet dogs that
Links to other behavioral problems
This study confirms the previously observed link between hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention, compulsive behavior, aggression, and fear. ADHD is also frequently associated with other psychiatric disorders and illnesses; for example, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often occurs in conjunction with ADHD. In dogs, OCD-like compulsive behaviors may manifest as, chasing the tail, continuously licking surfaces or themselves, or staring and staring.
The researchers believe that these findings suggest that the same brain regions and neurobiological pathways regulate activity, impulsivity, and attention in humans and dogs, and thus dogs have great potential as a model species for studying ADHD. Overall, these results promise to make it easier to identify and treat canine impulsivity and inattention, as well as to facilitate research on ADHD.
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